by Elizabeth Enright
I have helped kids find this book on our shelves for years, which finally piqued my interest. It was written in 1957 so I wondered what made it so great that kids STILL want to read it. The setting is quaint, beginning with a train ride into the countryside for a summer retreat. The main characters, siblings Portia and Foster and their cousin Julian, might seem a bit old-fashioned but are still interesting. I loved the magical experience of Portia and Julian’s big discovery – a long forgotten village hidden in a bog that used to be a lake, and two people who still live there, away from the conveniences and luxuries of 1950′s life. I think this story will inspire kids to go exploring outside to see what they might find, and to spend time with older folks who have so many stories to share about their lives. The book won a Newbery Honor in 1958. Kids who liked recent books like The Penderwicks and The Willoughbys will enjoy the light adventure of Gone-Away Lake.